The Federalist Society's annual convention has been called the "Super Bowl" for lawyers.
This year, following the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, yet another member of the group's ranks sent to the highest court in the land, it might have been expected to be a celebration of Kavanaugh and the president who appointed him.
But just days before the convention is set to begin at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, some of its most prominent members have banded together to form "Checks and Balances," a slate of like-minded attorneys who are encouraging their fellow conservatives to speak out against what they see as President Donald Trump's undermining of the rule of law.
In a mission statement dated Tuesday, the group said it stands for "the rule of law, the power of truth, the independence of the criminal justice system, the imperative of individual rights, and the necessity of civil discourse."
The group includes more than a dozen conservative and libertarian lawyers, many of whom who have held high-profile positions in Republican presidential administrations. The group's members have been influential in shaping conservative legal thought.
Among its founding signatories are Tom Ridge, the former Pennsylvania governor who served as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security under George W. Bush; George Conway, a conservative attorney who is married to Trump's senior counselor Kellyanne Conway; Peter Keisler, the former head of the Department of Justice's Civil Division; and Lori Meyer, an attorney married to Eugene Meyer, the president of the Federalist Society.
Neither the White House nor the Federalist Society immediately responded to a requests for comment.